Ask any restaurant owner why it’s important to treat customers respectfully and deliver a stellar dining experience and they will likely gawk at you in disbelief. In the hospitality sector, customers, or the lack thereof, will make or break your business
But, your guests aren’t the only ones who play an important role in your restaurant’s bottom line and sustainability. The restaurant experience starts with your employees – if they are happy, they’ll make customers happy. And happy customers turn into repeat customers, regulars, and brand advocates.
Imagine you have two servers working on a busy night. Server 1 has been working for your restaurant for several years, and is treated like family. You trust them and treat them well, and in turn they greet every table smiling enthusiastically. They have a lot of regulars that visit when they are working. Server 2 on the other hand was hired two months ago and is still fairly new to waiting tables. They have made a lot of mistakes learning the menu and point of sale system, and every time they come to you for something you’re noticeably irritated. Server 2's experience is completely different than Server 1's. Because of this Server 2 dreads coming to work, and is constantly doubting their ability to do a great job. Customers notice, and while they may not have a bad experience, they usually don’t have a great one. Ultimately this means Server 2's tables probably aren’t spending as much and won’t return as often as Server 1's – if at all.
When your employees feel empowered and valued and part of your restaurant’s team, they will come to work happy, engaged, and dedicated to delivering top-notch service again and again.
In essence, when employees are treated well, they increase the bottom line. Here’s how:
Lower Rates of Turnover
The hospitality industry is notorious for its high turnover rate, which leads to higher costs in recruiting, hiring, and training new staff members. But it’s possible to keep quality workers for long periods. A combination of factors can influence worker retention such as: job satisfaction, better wages, and benefits. Treat your employees fair and like equals, and watch your turnover rates and hiring costs dwindle.
Better Customer Service
Customer service goes hand-in-hand with turnover. The longer you retain your employees, the more comfortable they become with your menu offerings, point of sale system, daily operations, responsibilities, and customer base. The result? Knowledgeable staff able to confidently answer customer questions and seamlessly cater to them.
Staff members empowered and satisfied in their positions execute on their responsibilities without being told, ask questions when they are uncertain, and offer suggestions for more efficient ways of doing things. The empowered employee takes initiative and solves problems – saving you time and therefore money.
Higher Customer Retention and Spend
Knowledgeable, friendly staff that provide great service allow your business to count more customers as regulars. And regular customers are 50 percent easier to sell to than new ones. This means that new drink special or dessert you’re featuring this week has a far better chance of being sold to a regular than a first timer.
When it comes to dealing with your employees your attitude matters. When you invest in your staff they invest in your business. Focus on your employees by empowering them and treating them as equals, and watch your bottom line grow!